Santa Meets the Common Core Standards

Image of Santa on sleigh pulled by reindeer

In search of standard-based instruction, teachers have been producing and purchasing products aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Certainly, they’d like to provide high interest topics for children. This is where Santa enters the picture. If you search for Common Core + Santa on TeachersPayTeachers.com (TPT), you’ll find 222 results!  I used Clement Clarke Moore’s Christmas poem, and the standards on speaking and listening, to create a literacy activity.

In my product, students are provided space to illustrate the story on each page to match the meaning of the text. Twelve vocabulary words are boldface typed within the poem with definitions provided in the glossary. The purpose is to let students take ownership of the poem by illustrating it and then practice reading it to their parents or other students in the school. This was a popular activity I used in my 3rd Grade class during language arts. Students were eager to learn the new words such as sugarplums, kerchief, and sash, so that they could accurately illustrate their self-made booklet.

Here are the correlating CCSS for Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:

  • Kindergartners: #5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
  • Grade 1 Students: #5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
  • Grade 2 Students: #5. Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories 
    or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
  • Grade 3 Students: #5. Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.

The poetry product featured above can be purchased online in my TPT store. You can find PDFs of all the CCSS and their applications to students with disabilities and English Language Learners at this site: http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards

Sandra Rogers,

Instructional Designer

Note: This post was previously published on this 12/19/13.

How to Upload Media and Create a Podcast Channel

Title page to tech project

Dear Teachers,

This learning module instructs and guides students on how to upload a media file to a podcast channel, specifically Podbean.com. It can be used to supplement any course content as a project. For instance, a student can produce an audio file on any topic and then publish it to a podcast channel as part of an oral language project. Poetry readings, musical performances, or reporting the weather are just a few ways to incorporate podcasting. This project could last several weeks.

Using emergent technologies is an important skill for the 21st century learner to apply, not only in class, but also in their personal learning networks, college, and future career. Moreover, this product can be used in K-12 schools to address the media skills embedded in the Common Core Standards (2010) for career and college readiness benchmarks. For instance, the English Language Arts Standard for speaking and listening in Grade 2 states (2.5 Presentation of Knowledge): “create audio recordings of stories or poems.” Podcasting would be an excellent vehicle for this task. A similar standard for presenting content in multimedia is included in grades 3-12 core standards.

The learning module includes the following components:
• a podcast interest and technology skill level questionnaire;
• a pretest and posttest on technical terminology (with answer keys);
• an 18-page PowerPoint presentation on the technical terminology;
• a K-W-L chart activity;
• a 7-minute screencast to demonstrate the procedures; (See YouTube video link below)
• a 6-page how-to guide with glossary to serve as a desk reference when performing the task;
• a student checklist of procedures and outcomes for self-assessment of the criteria;
• a rubric for the teacher to evaluate the project; and
* an 18-page teacher guide with research basis and instructional strategies.

Goal Statement: Students will successfully upload a media file to Podbean.com for an oral language project by following the steps in the screencast and supporting how-to guide. The learning context is during class time in the computer lab or on a home computer. Students will need to have already learned how to create an audio or video file and save it as a MP3/MP4 format on a flash drive for school work.

Get a preview of this product on Teacherrogers YouTube channel:
My YouTube Video Demonstration

I completed this project during my doctoral studies, so it includes the research basis for the use of podcasting. I think you’re really going to like this product, as I’ve put over a semester of effort into creating and pilot testing it! It’s for sale on TeachersPayTeachers in the Teacherrogers Store.

Your blogger,

Sandra Rogers

 

Gaming as an Instructional Strategy for Language Learning

Icon of game consul

What empirical evidence exists as to the efficacy of gaming as an instructional strategy? More specifically, how can massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORGs) be used to learn a second language? Gaming provides situated learning of content in a problem-based learning (PBL) format (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989). Therefore, language learning games are generally created with an adventure, problem-solving scenario. For example, Trace Effects, a 3-D multimedia interactive video game, was designed specifically for English language learners (ELLs) ages 12-16 by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It’s an adventure game where the protagonist goes through the task of trying to get enrolled in an American university and become familiar with its surrounding community/city. The various levels of the game take you to different American communities (e.g., New Orleans) for rich situated learning among the varied cultural settings. PBL provides meaningful learning, resulting in deeper understandings and longer retention (Hung, Bailey, & Jonassen, 2003).  PBL in simulated environments offers a variety of language-based scenarios with nonplaying characters providing model language support for vocabulary and grammar development. Prior to Trace Effects (2012), there were very few effective games created specifically for ELLs. Therefore, research focused on the use of existing commercial simulated games combined with language support material to determine if gaming was an effective strategy for language learning.

In such a study, it was found that MMORGs combined with second language acquisition theory aided student learning of languages (Rankin, Gold, & Gooch, 2006). Four intermediate and advanced level, college-aged ELLs played with playing and nonplaying characters on Ever Quest 2 (EQ2), a commercial adventure game not specifically created for ELLs. EQ2 provides opportunities for the characters to speak; nonplaying characters verbalize the rules and alerts to players. In this  study, they questioned whether EQ2 would aid ELLs and how; they also wanted to find out if there was sufficient support for ELLs within the game. Students played the game four hours a week for four weeks. The researchers analyzed their game log scripts for vocabulary for testing purposes. No supporting English language material was used with the game. Overall, solely from interacting with nonplaying characters,  participants increased their English language vocabulary by 40%. The nonplaying characters provided support by modeling language; in fact, the more they modeled, the higher the accuracy in vocabulary meaning. Rankin et al. did not gather data on vocabulary acquisition with the playing characters. The authors acknowledged their small sample size and called for more investigations of this type given the positive outcomes.

 

Well-designed Educational Gaming vs. Playful Learning

Join me at the Midsouth Educational Research Association conference in Pensacola!

Photo of Sandra Annette Rogers
Find me at the conference and say hello!

The Midsouth Educational Research Association (MSERA) will be hosting their annual meeting in Pensacola on November 6-8th, 2013. I’ll be speaking about my research on gaming as an instructional strategy for young children and effective online communication for higher education. In addition, I will present a poster session on TESOL’s Electronic Village Online (EVO) to share how my other professional organization trains English language teachers worldwide for free through a volunteer network and online collaborative processes.

Here’s the conference program. This is a relatively inexpensive conference in comparison to the national ones. For example, nonmember rates are $150 for professionals and $90 for students the day of the event. Of course it’s best to become a member (or to preregister).

Here is my schedule of presentations and poster sessions: ( Note: The links will take you to my PowerPoints on SlideShare.)

Sincerely,

Sandra Rogers

P.S. I posted all of my conference handouts and photos on padlet: http://padlet.com/wall/teacherrogers

TeachersPayTeachers: Halloween Literacy Gaming Activity

Girl dressed for Halloween going trick-or-treating
Happy Halloween!

I just uploaded a new product that incorporates gaming as an instructional strategy. I used Halloween vocabulary and images to capture young children’s interest. Students can practice syllabification, reading, storytelling, and vocabulary when playing these games! This product contains directions and material for four different types of games to use during literacy centers: clapping out the syllables, vocabulary battle game, vocabulary flashcards, and storytelling. Each game would last 30 minutes, which is about the same amount of time segment in group rotation in a 2-hour literacy block.

This product includes the following items:

  • a game scorecard;
  • a paper candy reward system;
  • directions;
  • 24 different game cards with the vocabulary word, image, and the number of syllables, and
  • 24 vocabulary cards without the name or syllable count for testing purposes.

Vocabulary includes basic words like bat and hat, as well as multisyllabic ones like Halloween and October. I suggest printing the vocabulary on card stock and laminating them prior to use. I think students are really going to enjoy these activities. Hopefully, they will want to play them multiple times to become very familiar with the content vocabulary. I also suggest having the students create their own games and corresponding rules.

Here’s a sample game:

#2A: Vocabulary Battle Game: The objective of the game is to correctly read the word for each card drawn.

Learning Objective: Students will practice reading words correctly.

Game Rules: This game can be played with 2-4 players.

Step 1: Place vocabulary cards face down in a stack.

Step 2: Player 1 takes a card and tries to read it. Then he shows it to the other players to get feedback (correct or incorrect). If the student reads it correctly, then they keep the card. If not, then the card is placed in the “trash” pile to be reused.

Step 3: Player 2 repeats this action.

Step 4: After all the face down cards have been read, shuffle the deck of discarded cards to continue the game. The player with the most cards wins. Students redeem cards for candy or other reward at the end of the game.

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Visit my store on TeachersPayTeachers to purchase this product! I plan to do the same gaming products based on content vocabulary for each holiday.

Sandra Rogers

My Workshop Schedule

Photo taken by Sandra Rogers

I’d like to share my schedule of face-to-face workshops that I’ll be giving this school year. I work at the Innovation in Learning Center (ILC) at the University of South Alabama. They host ongoing professional development workshops for faculty and staff for online teaching.  I work for the ILC as a graduate research assistant. My work includes designing, developing, and delivering professional development to faculty to support student learning. If you live in the Mobile area and work at an institution of higher education, you are welcome to attend one of these workshops. Additionally, graduate students in instructional design and development at USA can attend, as long as they register in advance. There are many more listed at the ILC website.

My 2013-2014 Training Schedule at the ILC:

  •  Making Instructional Videos with Camtasia Relay:  Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama, 9/6/13
  • How to Make Your Online Course Accessible: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​, 9/19/13
  • Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​, 9/20/13
  • Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​,​ 10/11/13
  • Making Instructional Videos with Camtasia Relay: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama, 10/23/13
  • Emergent Technologies: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​, 10/30/13
  • Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​, 12/3/13
  • Sakai 101: Communication Tools: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​, 12/12/13
  • Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: Innovation in Learning Center (ILC), University of South Alabama (USA)​, 12/18/13
  • Making Instructional Videos with Camtasia Studio, ILC, USA, 2/3/14
  • How to Make Your Online Course Accessible: ILC, USA​, 3/31/14
  • iClickers, ILC, USA, 4/15/14
  • Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: ILC, USA, 5/30/14
  • StudyMate Author: ILC, USA, 6/16/14

 

Sandra Rogers